What started as a roller-coaster ride is now crawling with utmost discomfort. The journey is becoming unbearable for masses; their minarets of hope have started to shatter. Many, just like me, were all set to open our dreams-filled eyes in a new Pakistan after Imran Khan took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan. We were cautioned beforehand to not let despair set in too early as the path to glory would take some time, to which we readily agreed and prepared ourselves. That was the plan and that would have been the plan if things remained the same for a while until Imran Khan worked tirelessly to make them better. Placid demeanor turned chaotic when the existing fine-for-now things started to diminish gradually.
Nine-months in and prices are out of control (Although many would like to argue that almost everything seems out of control here). As mentioned earlier, the public had willingly adhered to Imran Khan and would have supported him if the existing circumstances before him were on a halt while the foundation for a new and a better economic system was being planned and devised by him and his team. That didn’t happen. As a rule of thumb, exorbitant price hike in commodities of daily use and introduction of new taxes without raising the salaries is a non-starter anywhere in the world.
New taxes and IMF
As per the recent news, apparently, the IMF has taken over. The government failed to address the issue despite employing their best efforts. Purses of Saudi Royals and Chinese brethren provided temporary relief and time to come up with some plan to at least put the deteriorating economy on a track, money was spent and time was passed. Back to square one.
One issue with a well-praised non-deliverance streak of PTI possibly can be their unpreparedness. They were too excited, yes. But were they also prepared to tackle the colossal tasks once they have formed the government? Clearly, they weren’t. Instead of belaboring on a container and partying all night, another alternative could have been tried, for instance, studying economy and other important issues, gathering the data and then finally arranging a comprehensive plan to get going. No?
IMF has asked to flog the nation with a new and stronger whip of taxes. To which government has presented their assent. New taxes of Rs350bn would be applied in the budget of 2019-20. In the said budget, prices of electricity and gases would also be increased. There you go, a way too easy method to crush the already struggling masses of the country!
Whom to blame
Maybe, many of the problems being faced today in the economy sector were inherited by the PTI from the previous governments. This card was good enough in the beginning, now the luster has dimmed, most likely from the overuse. Change of ministers and related persons from the portfolios they were holding isn’t a solution. In fact, it sends a very negative message. To see some change in the economy a team of professionals is required, who have inside-out knowledge of the economy and how it works practically. If the government is serious, help from economists from China and Malaysia can also be sought. They know the game of managing an economy too well.
There is no denying in this reality that the economy is going through a really rough patch lately. A combination of a serious effort and a well-worked-out approach are essential to revive it. The thing that matters, in the long run, is not the intention but the method. It is like, that you can be too serious about something but still can screw it up because of the way you dealt with it.
This year is not an easy one, for the government and also for the people. To keep balance in the equation, cooperation from both sides is required.